Super Best Audio Friends
The evolution of the original irreverent and irrelevant and non-authoritative site for headphone measurements, i.e. frequency response graphs, CSD waterfall plots, subjective gear reviews. Too objective for subjectivists; too subjective for objectivists
I propose a round of out-of-the-box hot takes before we get all clinical. Who’s got ‘em already?
Impressions and/or measurements:
So here we go. Similar methodology as last time:
- 1kHz test tone, measured via DMM, to match levels within 1/100 Vrms
- All units left on for at least one hour.
- Double blind test: I got my kids to change up the wires into the amps headphone output randomly while I wasn't in the room and then I asked them to leave the room in another direction of which I entered the room.
- Wires occluded so I could not see them during the ABX test.
- I had been doing home audition of Orchard Starkrimson amp since last Thursday.
- It sounds very transparent with lot of detials.
- I also have Schitt Aegir which I had enjoyed for last two months for warm and full bodied sound.
- But Aegir sounds opaque compared with Starkrimson.
- This moring I had compared with my friend's Dartzeel 108, Starkrimson and my Line Magnetic 508 fitted with vintage tubes.
- He really like my Line Magnetic 508.
- Dartzeel 108 falls short of my tube amp in overall musicality.
- He is also of opinion that as good as Starkrimson is, it sounds somewhat thin compared with Dartzeel 108.
- He had auditioned Atmashphere D class amp for 10 days at his home.
- He is of the opinion that Atma sounds fuller than Starkrimson.
- Thus despite the higher price, He prefer Atma to Starkrimson.
- But I am of the opinion that Starkrimson is a good value and tunable with tube pre amp.
CYAN = left, RED = right
The Audeze x RhythmDevils LCD-X Definitive Edition is f'ing good. These are overall the best Audeze headphones I have ever heard. It's not even close. Tonally it's the best. Technical performance, maybe the LCD-4 just pips it a bit (and this was a handpicked LCD-4 from a dozen). Note that I have not heard Audeze's latest and greatest. If I had to use a Japanese RPG character tiering system, I'd give the tonal signature an S- and technical performance A+.
SMPS vs LPS effect on Garage1217 Project Sunrise III
The following single massive stage LC filter will reduce SMPS residual ripple and noise. Parts cost was approximately $42 US in component single unit quantities, and about 2 hours of construction time. It will work with any external SMPS or LPS between 1 and 48 VDC with current less than 2A. Examples include Garage1217 and the Massdrop Cavalli Tube Hybrid (MCTH) headphone amps.
- You will need to present your ticket at the table and receive a name tag. This ensures that we are keeping within the capacity limitations of the venue.
- If you are selected to bring your own setup, please arrive 2 hours before the event to set up. There will also be 2 hours after the event is over to break down and pack up.
- There might be food but this is still being worked out.
- Gear list to come.
Zen Taboo mk4 inputs switched between Holo Spring 2 KTE Bal & SE outputs. Most listening evaluation with gain set to High, crossfeed bypassed, amp volume set for 0 dB gain with Goldpoint SA2X and SA2 external stepped attenuators employed to set level. There are plenty of impressions threads on the forum where more detailed and nuanced thoughts about the various components are discussed. For my preferences, either I like how a system renders music or I don’t.
Due to some interesting attributes of this amp I will provide additional commentary and interpretation from which I would normally refrain.
Decware Zen Taboo tonality has always impressed me during listening sessions at various meets. Typically with HD800 headphones and yggdrasil DAC. Meet conditions are often burdened with higher ambient room noise than my dedicated lab listening environment. With the opportunity to hear this wonderful amp in my own setting, the tonality continued to impress.
All in all a fun mini project for dirt cheap that took me back to the roots of my addiction to this hobby. Here are a few quick raw measurements I took. The drivers are matched quite well, with a slight leak probably being the culprit of the different low end between channels. Also during a frequency sweep I could hear the Right driver slightly flutter down low and it shows up in the distortion plot as significantly higher down there than the Left.
P.S. Or just ask me questions. (I've already traded notes with other members).